Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Karen writes: Wellington Marathon

No drama, this year the luggage arrived in Wellington with us, we had an uneventful flight down, and there were lots of things to do and see on the Saturday before the run so the whanau was happily entertained without too much effort from me. Saturday night I was fed and watered and in bed early enough to snatch a few hours of sleep, albeit of the unsettled variety. That's normal, my first night in any different bed and I don't do a lot of sleeping.  What you learn is that it really doesn't matter. Hear that, it DOESN'T matter if you don't sleep much before an event, provided you haven't been partying hard you will be fine in the morning when you start moving around and have something to eat.

Up early Saturday morning, a packet waffle from the supermarket and a banana, back into bed for a bit. Then I got up and dressed with much uhming and ahhing...shall I wear the thermal pants (no), hat (yes), gloves (yes), thermal top (yes), rain jacket (yes), decisions made and I headed down to the hotel foyer. There was a woman waiting for her friends so I chatted to her a bit, then we walked down to the stadium together.  I wandered around the stadium after that, had my gel half an hour before they called the start, drink of water from a tap in the toilet, and next thing I knew I was on the road, in the dark, heading off around the Wellington waterfront.

I chatted to a young woman who said her thesis was due in the next week, how strange, mine was too.  It was her first marathon, I said have fun and ran on after a bit.  Got chatting with a young man who was keen on encouraging his children to be active, we talked about the importance of encouraging and setting an example but not pushing hard enough to put them off.  I ran on. I saw both him and her on the out and back loop several times, yell out, wave, keep going.  I caught up with a lady wearing earphones, made some comment to her, she ignored me, I ran on. Eat, run, drink, run, talk, run, think, run, say hello to Hayley who was running strong (in front), hi Anthony (on his way back before I hit halfway), wave at someone else. Walk a bit.

Someone had said to keep an eye out for the 'Wellington' sign on the hill, apparently the W had been replaced with a V to coincide with the release of a new kiwi vampire film, I saw that thinking I wish the girls could have seen that too.  I wondered idly as I plodded along if they would ever join me in something like this, if they asked at what age would I say yes, would I be active about helping them train, would I push them if they didn't stretch or eat properly?  I didn't know, chances of them being mad enough in the next few years while they still live at home to get involved are pretty slim I would say.

The insides of my ankles hurt.  That was a new thing I had noticed in my long runs recently, quite painful, I kept to the flat spots so I didn't have to bend my ankle in a sideways motion at all.  Is this just something that hurts from asking it to do the impossible, or should I start thinking of it as an injury I wondered.  I can be a bit slow like that, not realise that something is actually telling me it is damaged.  But eventually the 2014 Wellington marathon was all over. Up that nasty ramp at the end, it is the only hill in the whole long flat run and it is within 500m of the finish, mean.

My girls ran over the finish line with me wearing their own medals because they had already run the kids magic mile. In spite of the extra training, intervals and strength work this time it was another slow run (4 hours 53 minutes). I was handed my medal and a banana, one of the volunteers talked about some sort of special Olympic type event needing volunteers to train and run marathons with disabled athletes, I promised to look into that, it sounded like an excellent thing to do.  We went back to the hotel so I could shower and rest for a bit. Then it was time for a hamburger, that was an excuse for me and daughter senior to go and look in the shops. Later the girls were saying "next year when we come back...", that's a good sign.  Perhaps next year we will see you again Vellington.